Carole King, George Lucas feted at Kennedy Center Honors

7 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

George Lucas, 4 others to receive Kennedy Center Honors.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Less than two weeks before the release of the new “Star Wars” movie, George Lucas is about to receive the nation’s highest award for achievement in the arts.President Obama’s address to the nation on Sunday night will force him to be late to the 38th annual Kennedy Center Honors performance celebrating the achievement of five artists.

This is horror movie territory – amplified further by the new shot (added for the 1997 re-release and a rare example of one of Lucas’ enhancements that actually adds something to the film) of the horrific Wampa feeding on Luke’s Tauntaun – and it sets the tone for a Star Wars film nearly completely at odds with the rousing space opera of A New Hope. The 83-year-old recently released her very first Spanish-language album “Una Vez Mas” decades after she dazzled fans on “West Side Story” and went on to win all four of the biggest prizes in show business – the Oscar, the Tony, two Emmys and a Grammy.

She told the Washington Post that the award is “a recompense for all the hard years in a profession that challenged my sense of dignity and self-worth at every turn.” “A singular and formidable reminder in this third act of my life, that falling down and getting up is very much a part of the American Dream,” she added. Lucas created the “Star Wars” and “Indiana Jones” movie franchises, ushering in the age of the Hollywood blockbuster, and he broke barriers with his use of special effects and sound. He can be delivering a national handle at 8 p.m. “There’s nothing we’d like more than to find a female director for ‘Star Wars,’ ” producer and Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy said earlier this year, and she’s following through on that commitment.

Moreno, a native of Puerto Rico who started dancing at age 9, became the first Latina to win an Academy Award when she was honored for her performance as Anita in “West Side Story.” She’s one of a handful of artists to win an Oscar, Emmy, Grammy and Tony, and Obama said she pushed back against Hollywood typecasting. Ravinia is the summer home of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra; Ozawa has served as guest conductor with the CSO and has collaborated on several albums with the orchestra.

King was inducted into the Songwriters’ Hall of Fame almost 30 years ago for her broad influence on pop music, which helped shape the sounds of the 1960s and 70s. Tyson, a longtime star of stage and screen, has said the honor validated her decision to turn down many roles as she tried to find meaningful work as a black woman. During a ceremony for the honorees late Sunday afternoon at the White House, Obama said Lucas created films with “timeless themes and cutting-edge technology.” “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” the seventh movie in the franchise and the first made without Lucas’ involvement as director, producer or writer, opens Dec. 18 and is expected to be one of the highest-grossing films in history. Since 1978, when the Honors were established, only four honorees – Placido Domingo, Chita Rivera, Carlos Santana and Martina Arroyo – were of Latino origin.

Ozawa has also performed with other orchestras around the world and devoted himself to teaching young musicians at the Seiji Ozawa International Academy Switzerland. At age 90, she’s currently starring on Broadway alongside James Earl Jones in “The Gin Game.” Ozawa, who was born in China to Japanese parents, began conducting as a teenager in Japan after World War II. Santana and Arroyo were selected in 2013 after the Center was publically shammed by Latino organizations, particularly by the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts. Note: Chicagoans can get a glimpse into the career of Carole King via “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical,” playing at the Oriental Theatre, through Feb. 21, 2106.

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